MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Receiver Albert Wilson threw a 52-yard touchdown pass to put the Miami Dolphins ahead midway through the fourth quarter, and then turned a short reception into a 74-yard score that sealed a 28-20 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
Miami coach Adam Gase used creative play-calling to overcome a wave of injuries and penalties, and a 17-minute deficit in time of possession. The Dolphins scored on a pair of shovel passes by Ryan Tannehill that each traveled less than a yard — one on the flip to Wilson, and an earlier similar pass that Jakeem Grant caught before turning the corner for an 18-yard score.
“We made some big plays when it mattered,” Tannehill said. “With the explosiveness we have, we just have to keep doing our job and not press.”
Thanks to all the flashy plays, the Dolphins are 3-0 for only the third time since 1998, with a game at AFC East rival New England next.
“We’re on the right track,” Tannehill said. “Are we there yet? No. But the patterns we’re establishing are going to take us there.”
The Raiders, led by first-year coach Jon Gruden, are 0-3 for the first time since 2014, when they started 0-10. They’ve blown a second-half lead in all three defeats.
Oakland outgained the Dolphins, and Derek Carr threw for 345 yards. But Xavien Howard intercepted him twice deep in Miami territory, and the Dolphins mounted a first-half goal line stand to stay in the game.
“We got hurt on a trick play and didn’t finish some drives in the red zone,” Gruden said. “That’s the story of the game.”
Trickery gave the Dolphins their first lead in the fourth quarter. Tannehill handed off to Frank Gore, who tossed the ball to Wilson on an end-around. Wilson — a quarterback in high school — then lobbed the first pass of his career to a wide-open Grant, who outmaneuvered two Raiders to the end zone.
“I said he better catch it, and he better not get tackled,” Wilson said.
Following Howard’s second interception, Wilson scooted around the end after taking Tannehill’s short pitch and scored the clincher. Wilson and Grant ran side by side in the clear for the final 30 yards and exchanged a gleeful high five approaching the end zone.
“We’ve got guys who can do a lot of different things,” Gase said. “They can throw it, they can run it.”
Oakland’s ball-control approach took a toll on a Miami front four that lost three players. Akeem Spence was ejected, and William Hayes and Andre Branch suffered knee injuries.
The Raiders’ Jordy Nelson had 139 yards receiving in the first seven minutes, and finished with 173 on six catches.
Tannehill went 17 for 23 for 289 yards and three scores with no turnovers.
Miami’s Kenny Stills took a big hit when he made a 34-yard touchdown reception in stride in the back of the end zone and slammed into the cushioned retaining wall.
Miami missed injured safety Reshad Jones at the start, with rookie replacement Minkah Fitzpatrick burned on the second play when Nelson turned a short pass over the middle into a 61-yard gain. That set up Nelson’s 12-yard touchdown catch, again over the middle.
On the Raiders’ next possession, Nelson beat Bobby McCain deep for a 66-yard gain — his longest since 2014 — before Miami made a goal-line stand.
Spence was ejected in the second quarter for ripping off guard Kelechi Osemele’s helmet. Spence was penalized for unnecessary roughness, which negated a third-down sack by teammate Cameron Wake and led to an Oakland field goal.
Dolphins: Hayes (right knee) was hurt when he sacked Carr and missed the second half. … Branch hurt his knee in the second half. … TE A.J. Derby (foot) also sat out the second half. … McCain was shaken up in the final minutes. … LB Chase Allen suffered a foot injury in the first half. … S Reshad Jones was inactive because of a shoulder injury.
Raiders: T Donald Penn (concussion) and S Karl Joseph (lower leg) sat out the second half. … WR Seth Roberts was among Oakland’s inactives.
Stills and Wilson kneeled during the national anthem, and defensive end Robert Quinn raised his right fist. All three Dolphins have staged similar protests before their team’s other games this season.
Raiders: Return home to play Cleveland next Sunday.
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